Well, file this in the “what the hell is going on” section. Chris Ziegler, long-time The Verge editor (and Engadget before that – he was part of the crew that started both Engadget and The Verge, if I’m not mistaken), had been missing from the site for a few months now – no posts, no tweets, nothing. Today, Nilay Patel revealed why.
First, Chris accepted a position at Apple. We wish him well.
Second, the circumstances of Chris’ departure from The Verge raised ethical issues which are worth disclosing in the interests of transparency and respect for our audience. We’re confident that there wasn’t any material impact on our journalism from these issues, but they are still serious enough to merit disclosure.
Chris began working for Apple in July, but didn’t tell anyone at The Verge that he’d taken a new job until we discovered and verified his dual-employment in early September. Chris continued actively working at The Verge in July, but was not in contact with us through most of August and into September. During that period, in the dark and concerned for Chris, we made every effort to contact him and to offer him help if needed. We ultimately terminated his employment at The Verge and Vox Media the same day we verified that he was employed at Apple.
So let me get this straight. One of The Verge’s most prominent editors took a job at Apple – which is perfectly fine, we all change jobs – but then did not inform The Verge, continued to work for The Verge, then disappeared, still without informing The Verge, and then it took The Verge weeks to track him down and figure out what happened?
This story is completely bonkers, and I can assure you – this is not the whole story. According to John Gruber, Chris Ziegler is not listed in Apple’s employee directory, and I personally have had this confirmed to me as well. Something really strange is going on here.